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Every week, the team at ReviewTrackers aims to provide business leaders with the greatest and latest tips and strategies to monitor your online reviews and manage your online business reputation.

We have a big archive of articles and guides to help you tackle industry changes and address your greatest challenges. Today we wanted to do something extra special: a one-pager that captures the best practices of review management and helps you get started on the right track.

Abandon manual tracking and adopt the right tools

When it comes to review management, efficiency is essential to your success. Manual tracking can result in skewed data and serious customer issues left untracked. Review monitoring solutions are scalable and affordable for every business size. Once you have implemented tracking tools, everything else will fall into place as you begin to implement business practices that take into account customer feedback.

Make review management a core element of your marketing

Gone are the days where your marketing and advertising strategy simply consisted of a printed Yellow Pages listing and several spots on the local radio station. Integrating review websites as part of your core marketing is a smart and low-entry cost to achieve increased market presence. In addition to providing you free positioning, review sites give you an endless pool of customer-driven data that can help you optimize your product offering and promotional strategies.

Manage your profiles

Claim or unlock your business profile on the most popular review sites like Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, and Maximize each site’s features such as menu displays and the ability to incorporate graphics. Include and update your business hours as applicable, and take advantage of premium features such as TripAdvisor’s Questions and Answers, which facilitates an online conversation with potential customers.

Implement a rapid-response strategy

People want to do business with responsive organizations. If you want to take the lead and dominate your segment, it is essential that you implement customer-friendly rules of engagement. A Rapid-Response Strategy is designed to put the customer first and seek expedient resolutions to valid complaints while making process improvements on the fly.  By aiming to respond to all your reviews as quickly as possible, you demonstrate your commitment toward customer care and improve the cycle of customer resolution.

Be resolution-oriented

Responding to reviews is not about making excuses. When you tackle fair feedback, don’t make it a finger-pointing session; instead, make it a point to provide remedy within reason. Your goal is to improve customer retention and customer loyalty while conveying to potential leads a customer-centric corporate image. (Learn what to avoid when responding to customer reviews.)

Do not pick and choose

When a customer has taken the time to review your venue, they deserve the courtesy of a kind and thoughtful response. Make it a point to personally acknowledge positive reviews (by personal, we mean avoid copy-and-paste responses), and tackle negative reviews with sincerity and passion for improvement.

Be consistent to your branding

The words you use in your profile, as well as your review responses, define your brand. Make a concerted effort to be consistent across all channels, and respond in a manner that best represents your brand identity. Pay attention to voice, style, and grammar; and use branded words as applicable. This might include menu items or specific activities hosted by your venue.

Be SEO-sensitive

When drafting your review responses or populating your profile, it is important to remain sensitive to SEO or search engine optimization practices. Seek to integrate keywords relevant to your industry, to maximize the potential of being found via review sites. Take the time to do keyword research to best understand what searches are likely to bring the highest quality customers.

Use customer intelligence to improve the way you do things

Don’t let awesome data go to waste. Reviews offer you real-time insights that let you correct key issues in product and services expeditiously. Tracking specific trends on your reviews can help you improve your business model and maximize your profits quicker than ever.

Encourage customers to review you

One of the main functions of having a strong online business reputation is to be able to achieve a wider audience and increase in overall popularity. Having a large number of positive reviews will have a direct impact on lead generation and overall profitability. Foster a review-friendly culture by facilitating social-media engagement, location-based apps, and offline awareness campaigns. (Check out: “Encouraging Positive Reviews without Actually Asking for Them”)

Track the market

Tracking and improving your own trends is just the first step to superior review management. The secret sauce to excellent online reputation and expanded market share is to know what the competition is doing right, and imitate it and learn from their mistakes. Competitive analysis of online reviews can save you money and reduce risks as you plan future short- to medium-term marketing strategies.

Embrace continuous learning

This list is intended to give you a quick reminder of the basics of online reputation management and review monitoring. The Web is highly dynamic and quickly evolving. To maintain a competitive edge, it is essential to constantly be in the loop and fully understand how changes on review sites and their policies are likely to impact your business. Stay informed! If you have questions, contact us today and let us know how we can help.

Kevin Kent

Kevin is the Director of Finance and Operations at ReviewTrackers. Every day he finds creative ways to solve business owners' problems and identifies key issues to help them achieve top results.